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Join us for The Friends 10th Annual Poetry Slam at the Main Library on Friday, June 5 from 7-9:00 PM.

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Library Board Meeting Minutes
March 25, 2015
PRESENT:          Brenda Drew, Kirsta Millar, David Lydiard, Gail Zwirner, Danita Green, Larry Olanrewaju, Daisy Weaver, Leighton Powell; Friends and Laura Drewry; City Attorney
LIBRARY STAFF:     Harriet Coalter, Clay Dishon, Karin Hansen, and Felicia Smith
ABSENT:                    Benjamin Lambert, Peter Blake, Larry Olanrewaju
Called to order by Brenda Drew, Chair at 12:04 p.m. at Westover Hills Library.
Minutes from the February 25th meeting along with the current agenda and pending donation list were unanimously approved.

Public Comment Period

None were present.


Friends of the Library

Ms. Powell reported: the Book Drive went well.  The Book Sale will be held on April 10th and 11th. Contact Paige Newman if you are interested in assisting.  All vendors have been provided a list of rules for the Book Sale, and rules will be posted during the sale as well.

Claire Shapiro has offered to donate a large portion of her cook book collection.  A special event will be held to sell her collection. 

The mini-grants program has been in place for 2 years now and continues to go well. This program was developed for the Friends to get to know the branches by assisting with programs.

In May 2015, Ms. Powell will step down as Chair and Charlie Schmidt, president-elect will take over.

Library Foundation

Ms. Hansen reported: an application for a Dominion grant for the Rain Garden Project at the Westover Hills Library is in progress as well as numerous others.

The donor software is now fully functional.

The next full Foundation Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 8th.











Ms. Coalter reported: the Departmental Budget hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 13th noon-6pm.  West End’s renovation is budgeted, however the expansion was not.  ILS upgrade is included in the budget ($95,000 - FY16 and $250,000 - FY17).  The expansion of Sunday hours was not budgeted; however maintaining Broad Rock’s Sunday hours was.  Ms. Drew and Ms. Coalter will present to the Governmental Operations Committee on Thursday, March 26th at 4pm.  During this presentation they will advocate for funding of the new positions requested. 

RVA Reads - the first distribution at the 3 RPS preschool centers went well.The Mayor will attend next time.

Saturday, March 28th is volunteer planting day for the Westover Hill’s Rain Garden project.This branch may need to close for 1 day due to gas line work.

Richmond Public Library has been selected as 1 of 30 libraries recognized as a Grade Level Reading Pacesetter Community. This recognition is for making progress in the key focus areas of school readiness, school attendance, and retention of reading skills over the summer school break.

Main Library 2nd floor re-opened this morning.Ginter Park’s renovation goes out for bid this week.

All City of Richmond Libraries will be closed on Friday, April 3rd (Good Friday); this is a City Holiday.



Ms. Drew: acknowledged the handouts highlighting the wonderful programs going on at the Library. Ms. Drew inquired about the possibility of getting the Library’s website in Spanish.  The current website is ADA compatible on computers, but not on all devices.  Both issues will be a task the new Library Director can pursue.


Mr. Olanrewaju reported: 68% of total budget has been spent to date.  Year to date revenue from the Friends of the Library is $5,000, they write a check at the end of the year.  Revenue from the Gates Foundation has gone away. The 2% proposed salary increase is not shown in the department’s FY16 proposed budget, but is included in the Mayor’s proposal budget.

On the Special Funds report, there are revenues that are not recorded due to system issues.  To ensure proper accounting of Special Funds, the Finance Committee would like the Board’s permission to do away with the monthly detailed Special Fund report.  Special funds will continue to be shown on the monthly summary and twice a year the Board will receive detailed information of Special Funds.

Motion made by Gail Zwirner to grant permission for the Finance Committee to do away with the detailed monthly Special Fund Report and report details twice a year. The motion was seconded by David Lydiard and unanimously carried.


Ms. Zwirner reported: the facilities committee did not meet.  They are disappointed that the West End expansion was not included in the budget.  Ms. Coalter recommended scheduling a meeting within the next month.

Governmental & Community Relations

No report.

Succession Planning

Mr. Lydiard reported: 14 applications have been received for the Library Director position.  The last batch of applications will be picked up from Yvette Baker in HR next week.  The committee will be responsible for screening applicants and will discuss in more detail during the April 1st meeting.

Ms. Drewry reminded everyone that since 3 Board members are on the interview panel, interviews will be considered meetings and must follow closed meeting procedures.  She also recommended avoiding emergency closed meetings.  As they should be planned.

Strategic Planning/ Neighborhood Assessment & Planning

Ms. Millar reported: Ms. Millar and Ms. Weaver met with John Sarvay from Floricane to discuss updating the Strategic Plan.  The committee will draft framework to submit to the Board in June.  They would like to have a plan ready for the new Library Director to implement.



Ms. Coalter shared that the Chair asked everyone to review the current by-laws and make recommendations. Ms. Coalter updated the City Code #’s referenced throughout.  Under article 5, sec 2 “city manager” was removed. Under article 6, “e-mail distribution” was added, which has been previously approved by the Board.  Please review the by-laws and introduce any changes at April’s meeting.  The by-laws can then be approved at May’s meeting.  If significant changes are recommended, Ms. Drewry will need to review to ensure they are in line with City Code.


Westover Hills Art

Mr. Lydiard suggested adding picture railing in public space to hang art for the public to view.  Ms. Coalter will discuss with the Nancy Buck, branch manager.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 12:51 p.m.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. at the Hull Street Branch.


Recorder: Felicia M. Smith                                                                Approved:               Ms. Brenda Drew, Chair